Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Monank's valiant hundred goes in vain as Nepal edge past USA. A career-defining hundred from Monank Patel could not prevent an erring United States of America from falling to a five-wicket defeat against Nepal
A career-defining hundred from Monank Patel could not prevent an erring United States of America from falling to a five-wicket defeat against Nepal
A career-defining hundred from Monank Patel could not prevent an erring United States of America from falling to a five-wicket defeat against Nepal. Strange defensive tactics with the bat and some toothless bowling in the middle overs cost the USA the game. Chasing 231 on a wicket conducive to stroke-play, an enterprising 84 off 93 balls from the opener Kushal Bhurtel and an unbeaten 62* off 84 balls from the 19-year-old Rohit Paudel sealed a convincing victory for Nepal with an over to spare.
Batting first, after winning the toss, USA lost their explosive opener Steven Taylor in the fourth over. Monank then joined Sushant Modani in the middle. Monank got going with consecutive boundaries off Karan KC in the ninth over – a majestic on-drive and a controlled edge past the ‘keeper to the third man boundary.
Sandeep Lamichhane, however, foxed Modani with a googly in his first over to have USA at 47 for 2. Just for a moment, it felt as if the leg-spinner might repeat his heroics from last year, when he spun a web around the USA batsmen to finish with 6 for 16. Monank himself arrived at the crease with scores of four and four in the ODIs against Nepal last year; a walking wicket to Lamichhane's googlies on both the occasions. Monank though banished those ghosts of the past by carving an imperious cover drive for four off his third ball against Lamichhane.
Monank and Nisarg Patel put on a sedate 49-run stand for the third wicket. At that stage, Left-arm spinner Kushal Malla cleaned up Nisarg for 21, with the batsman eking out an inside edge onto his stumps. The USA sent in left-arm spinner Nosthush Kenjige, who in turn had a highest score of 14* in 23 innings in List A games. It seemed like a defensive move to shield the latest member of the six sixes club Jaskaran Malhotra against the guile of Lamichhane. With Nisarg consuming 39 deliveries for his 21 and Kenjige using up 26 balls for his 13 before running himself out, Malhotra couldn't emulate his heroics with the bat from the previous ODI and holed out at long-off against Malla for 11.
Monank, however, remained resolute amid the turmoil around him. Using the crease and feet to good effect against the spin dominated attack of Nepal, he took a special liking for Malla, drilling him for a six and a couple of lusty blows over his head. The 18-year-old debutant Sanjay Krishnamurthy added 25 crucial runs with Monank before a tame dismissal cut short his innings of 13 off 19. Monank, eventually, brought up an emotional maiden ODI hundred off 113 balls. Much to the USA's dismay, he fell off the next ball trying to up the ante as the the side slipped to 201 for 8 in the 47th over. Some useful batting from the lower order helped the USA finally huff and puff their way to a respectable score. Nepal's spinners – Lamichhane, Malla and Sushan Bhari – kept the USA batsmen on a tight leash and finished with combined figures of 5 for 111 in 30 overs.
Early on, the Nepal openers – Bhurtel and Aasif Sheikh – were watchful against the new ball. Soon enough, Bhurtel decided to throw caution to the winds. He walked down the wicket to Saurabh Netravalkar and crunched it sweetly over the long-on fence, standing his pose pompously. Bhurtel and Sheikh never looked back from that act of audacity, stealing 13 runs off the young Paradkar in the eighth over. The pair put Nepal on track towards their target of 231, adding 66 in 14 overs before Kenjige had Sheikh caught behind, with the batsman attempting an expansive drive.
Nepal captain Gyandendra Malla was quickly on the offensive with a couple of boundaries, but was pinned in front while trying to play across the line. Bhurtel toyed away with the USA spinners, looking for singles while also clearing the fence handsomely on two occasions against Kenjige and Taylor. Nisarg, the man with the golden arm so far for the USA on this tour, had Bhurtel playing down the wrong line. Bhurtel missed out on a hundred but his knock put Nepal in a position of strength, with the side needing 87 off 107 deliveries.
Netravalkar came back to dislodge Kushal Malla in the next over. Rohit, batting on a laborious 14 off 45 balls, broke the shackles with a brutal swat over long-on off Nisarg. The USA failed to get the breakthrough as Paudel and Binod Bhandari decided to take the game deep. With 32 needed off 30 balls, Paudel and Bhandari sealed the game in Nepal's favour. The pair went after Gore and Kenjige to steal a total of 23 runs off the 46th and 47th over. The young Paudel befittingly hit the winning runs on the last ball of the penultimate over as Nepal won their third ODI against the USA in as many games.
Nepal is set to play Oman on September 14 while the USA will be back for their encounter against Oman on September 16.
Brief scores: United States of America 230 in 50 overs (Monank Patel 100; Bikram Sob 2-33) lost to Nepal 231/5 in 49 overs (Kushal Bhurtel 84; Nisarg Patel 2-33) by five wickets.